Drama with Daddy over Day Care

Updated on December 05, 2011
E.S. asks from Hackettstown, NJ
17 answers

I am absolutely livid.

I recently took DD out of day care because the center was no longer a good fit. There was only one toddler left and an absentee owner. Plus, I haven't been working and want to spend time with her, not to mention save money!

I finally settled into a great routine and am meeting some local moms. Mind you, I live in a rural area and it's very hard to meet people, even harder when I was working.

Unfortunately, I will have to go back to work. I and am looking far and wide, but in the meantime I am enjoying my time "temping" as a SAHM.

The issue is my DH. He wants me to put DD back in another day care, two days a week.

He says that she needs to be around other kids and needs a structured environment.

I claim that she is in a great environment with me and sees other kids via occasional park play dates and mom's meetups. "McDonald's Playland where moms chat is not a structured environment." I went ballistic. I told him that it's a win-win because I'm meeting other people, my biggest gripe with where we live, and my daughter is with other kids her age and playing. We're not rolling in money and I believe we should save it while I am home.

This seems so logical to me so I had to ask him if he doesn't trust DD in my care. He assured me that's not the case but wants what's best for her in terms of socialization. I"m just not buying this and refuse to budge. Thoughts?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

I forgot to mention that my inlaws take her one to two days a week so that is even less time I would have with her! On those days, I interview, should one come my way! I guess the issue is I know my situation is temporary so I want to enjoy it while I can. I just was hoping my hubby would understand that. But instead, we will agree to disagree. Thanks for listening.

More Answers


answers from St. Louis on

It seems to me there are some other underlying and larger issues going on between you and your husband. If my husband ever came to me and said "hey, why don't we look into putting little Sally into day care just a couple days a week so she can be around other kids" I would not "go ballistic" as you say you did. (not saying I wouldn't take your stance, just that it wouldn't make me so angry). It seems you are both frustrated with each other beyond what this post indicates.

I think what your husband is getting at is that your daughter benefits greatly from being around other kids WITHOUT mommy around and having to be told what to do by someone else OTHER THAN mommy. I don't think this is a bad thing at all.

But, I also think you keeping her home with you and doing what you have been doing is PERFECTLY FINE AND HEALTHY also.

Why would you refuse to budge? Does he? Why can't you two talk calmy about this and come to a compromise? It seems like such a simple discussion.

There is no right or wrong answer here - the problem is the lack of ability to communicate or compromise between you and your husband. I would think he should give you some deference as mom and child-rearer, but at the same time, don't get so angry with him. Realize he is only trying to do what he thinks is best for your daughter, even though he "may" be a little off in his approach.

The point is, this shouldn't be a heated discussion. Save those for when she wants to date.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

If I remember--your daughter is not quite 2.
She has PLENTY of time for a "structured environment" in the coming years.
Enjoy her and enjoy your temp assignment!
And as for the "structured environment" argument from your husband--LIFE is not a completely structured environment!
Seriously, at 2, playing is her job.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

You've written about this before. Honestly, I kind of feel like you're beating a dead horse. Are you really looking for a job? What does "looking far and wide" really mean? Are you going out on interviews? How do you do that with no childcare? If you are, great, and yes, it may take you a long time to find one. I hope you can afford to be unemployed. It's hard for lots of people these days. It seems that you are so happy being at home with your child that it's a vacation for you. And that's okay too. However, your husband probably really wants something set up for you to go to work, in addition to your child having lots of structure, and he probably wants you to have time to go interview. Hopefully there's somewhere you can drop her off so that you can go looking for a job.

Since you don't want to budge, it's not like you're going to pay attention to anyone who disagrees with you here on this site. This is between you and your husband. He hasn't asked you to put her in daycare all week at this point, yet the little bit of daycare she had was not acceptable to you. I'm sure that her current place was not a good fit if there was only one child left there, but I wonder if any excuse would do since you don't want to compromise.

You'll just have to accept that he's not happy with the current situation of your being unemployed and your not wanting to let go of your daughter. You can go ballistic all you want, but what we say here is not going to help you with your husband if you aren't willing to consider how he feels about this...


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Iowa City on

How old is your daughter? If she is under 4, I agree with you. I think a lot of older non-school age children (3 or 4 year olds) can benefit from preschool/daycare for socialization and school preparedness but I think younger children are fine without it. Good luck.

Afterthought: Is it possible your husband doesn't want you or your daughter to get used to the idea of staying home? Maybe he thinks if she doesn't remain in daycare she will fight when it is time for her to return full time. Is it possible that your husband thinks you might say, I want to be a SAHP and financially that isn't what your husband wants?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I would find some articles on-line to support your stance (you'll find many). There is no need for a 2-year-old to be in a structured environment. Let him know that you hear his concerns and did some research and what you have read reassures you that for now, this is the right arrangement and that later when you're back at work, she'll transition back into daycare just fine. And share that info with him. A guy who is concerned about socializing a 2-year-old sounds like someone who is aware of child development and open to expert opinion. So show him that while he's correct that structure and socialization are important, that they are not critical at this particular stage and when she's old enough to really benefit from those, you will most likely be working so she'll be in daycare anyway.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Naples on

Wow, what a frustrating situation. I have read your other posts on this topic. I would be angry too. Unfortunately I think very few men these days see real value in mom being at home. I work, but I am seriously considering staying home and it has taken two years of arguments and "discussions" with my husband to get him out of that mindset that "We NEED the second income," "Daycare is so important for 'socialization'", "Every other mom works," blah blah blah.
With my husband, a lot of it boiled down to simple anxiety about the idea of being the main breadwinner, and a little bit of jealousy over the idea of me getting more time with our son than him. Maybe that is what is going on with your husband??
Anyway, I wouldn't budge either. You are in the right here - this is a temporary situation, you need to enjoy is as much as possible, she is getting plenty of socialization through play dates, and why on earth pay for daycare before you have to?
And plus - he should want you to be happy. He should understand and support your desire to spend time with your little girl.
Good luck!!!! I feel for you.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Shreveport on

It is a good idea to have her in a mother's day out or preschool. She needs it. And so do you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It will definately be a good transitional tool to take baby a few days a wk. Then when you go to full time it wont be such a completely new situation. She will already have a relationship and routine built up with the caregivers

I think, as moms, we tend to think we are the expert and only valid voice, when it comes to our kids. Dads should have a say as well. If it's importnat to you, even when he disagrees, most of the time dad gives in and deferes to your judgement. WHy not give him the same respect as a father? It's important to him and he has backed up his request with logic and reasoning. Why not just defer to his judgement on this one?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

If he is using these specific concerns, then counter them (as unemotionally as possible, at least outwardly) by:
* Putting up a daily schedule (wake-up/nap schedule, with meals & snacks scheduled and at least 1 other activity scheduled [like "crafting", singing/dance time, outdoor exercise, etc.])
* Making bi-weekly playdates

He does have valid points: kids do need structure (which you're probably already providing, but having "documented" on a day planner, LOL), and they do need socialization, starting around age 2-ish.

If there is a co-op preschool in your area, check that out--those are run mostly or completely by volunteers (and as a parent enrolling a kid, you'd be expected to volunteer as well), but the costs are down.

Also if you're Christian, check to see if there are any MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) groups. They have regular gatherings for the kids to socialize.

Try addressing his concerns in practical, logical way (since he's a guy & that's usually the way guys think), and see if it helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Hartford on

The problem I see right off the bat is that you're viewing this as an attack on your parenting and decision-making skills. Your husband isn't critiquing your parenting of your daughter. He didn't even insinuate that he doesn't trust you with your daughter.

What he's not saying, and probably should be, is that he saw your daughter benefit from being in preschool/daycare. He saw her enjoying it. He saw the structure of it in a good way. He wants her to have those benefits again which, frankly, can't be provided in the same way as random play dates in a park. That doesn't mean he's saying you're not doing a good job.

It's also possible that he sees you getting cozy as a SAHM and thinks that maybe if you have more time where you're not watching your daughter, you'll have more time to look for a job. He's hoping the situation will be short term and you going back to work will be one less transition for your family to go through if your daughter gets used to a new preschool sooner rather than later. One less stress to worry about.

I'm just trying to think like a guy here.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

At her age -whatever it is, it must be under 5 -she does need to see and be around other children, but she does not necessarily need a structured environment (any moreso than what you already provide). Children need structure in reference to dependability -knowing they can count on you to be around at certain times and food to be served at certain times, baths, bedtimes, etc. I think we are structuring our young kids FAR too much actually (it's like no one can just let little kids play for hours on end without a craft or activity or planned class). As long as you're seeing other people and she's getting to play with other kids -she should be fine. Many of us grew up without ever setting foot in a structured daycare/preschool environment before kindergarten, and most of us managed quite well -the key is interaction with other children.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

This seems to be an ongoing situation for you.

While the previous daycare may not have been the best place, I think it would have been good to find a better one so that when you go back to work, your daughter hasn't gone from being in daycare, to not being in daycare, to being introduced to daycare all over again on top of you scrambling to find a good one and starting a new job at the same time.

Of course, this opinion goes right out the window if you have no intention of going back to work.
You seem very defensive about your husband's concerns and at the same time say you refuse to budge.
Him thinking daycare can be good for your daughter a couple of days a week getting twisted into him not trusting her in your care is a bit of a stretch.

It could appear to your husband that this "temporary" situation with you being at home isn't nearly as "temporary" as you are letting on. If that's the case, you need to just be up front with him about it.

This will continue to be an issue for you and your husband if you aren't on the same page and at least one of you refuses to budge.
How can there be a resolution?

Just my opinion.

Best wishes.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

You don't mention how old your child is... if she's under two then I agree that the socialization aspect of daycare isn't really that important. If she's over 2 though, I see your husband's point.

But I also see your side of things and your enjoyment of being able to be home for this short time until a job comes along. I think I would approach him from the viewpoint that these years are short, and you are really cherishing the time that you are having with her now. It's not a long term thing, so you'd rather wait until you're working again to put her back in daycare. Maybe that will open communication up enough for you to talk about what the real issue is for him.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I think your husband means well, even if you don't agree with him, and you almost sound like you are taking his suggestions a little personally. If you are determined to be a SAHM for now, then there's no point in getting angry with him - you are going to do what you feel is best, for the time being. When you get back to work is when you get back. But just for the record, my 4 year old has always had a parent home with her - either me, or Dad, and no day care. She did preschool last year, and again this year, and between that, playdates with other moms and kids, etc., she has no problems with "socialization" - she's one of the most sociable extroverted independent kids you will ever meet. So no child needs to be in day care 8 to 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, to get their needs for socialization met.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Oh man.

Okay, well don't think your husband is taking it out on you, because when my husband lost his job and we had to take our 3 kids out of daycare I was livid. Granted they were only there full-time in the summer, but it was something more for them than sitting at home and the occassional trip to the park. My husband was also looking for a job, but I was so mad that our 3, 5, and 7 year old kids (at the time) had to suffer because he didn't have a job.

The socialization would have been great for them. The learning, playing, reading, arts and crafts, etc...it would be nee great for them that summer, but they also loved that time with their daddy. Though they were home more days than not because of $ obviously.

I have to agree with your husband here that your daughter (you don't say an age) could use the time around other kids her age. So the other center was not a good fit...try to find something else.

I also agree with him that a McD's playdate doesn't count. Can you go to free library time? Does your library do arts and crafts? Park play dates may be good...I think places where you can mee other mom's but the focus is on the kids would be great.

With that said, I don't have the option to stay home anymore and if I did, I'd eat it up in a minute! Make sure you're doing learning activities with her and that will help.

I just know it's near impossible to give a child what they need when you are looking for work...



answers from Cleveland on

i actually think when kids are in day care from very little that they beinifit from them i plan on putting my daughter in something next fall or the year after to get her ready for school so she knows what is to happen and get her used to other kids and teachers and such



answers from Madison on

My daughter is an only child. She was in daycare from 3 months to 5 years old; I took her out the summer before Kindergarten because I stayed home to start my at home business and she was going to start school in the fall.

Daycare was the best thing we could have ever done for our child. She is an only, we live in the country, and there are no other children her age around. Even taking her places on my own (McDonald's playground, libraries for readings and fun time) don't/didn't compare to what she received from her daycare exposure. When we discovered she had an issue with speech when she was 3, the daycare was wonderful at helping us set up bus pick up for her to go back and forth to school for speech lessons, then again when she was 4 and was in Early Childhood. The daycare also allowed the speech teachers to come in and take pictures so my daughter would have a book of pictures/things she could point to so she could communicate.

It was also discovered/noted that my daughter was having social issues when she was in daycare. Having that knowledge made it possible for us to seek out a Childhood Specialist when she started Kindergarten and find out that she has Sensory Processing Disorder.

Having her in daycare when she was younger, I think, did her a world of good in learning how to forge friendships and learn how to work with kids. I think if I had been a SAHM when she was younger, I probably would have missed some of the warning signs and she would have had a much, much harder time later learning how to read people/cues and navigating friendships.

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